Saturday, October 10, 2015

Retro Saturday: Toward the Unexplored


Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: Historia - Bel99TV YouTube channel.

This week is the last of three Retro Saturday films about the history of Edwards Air Force Base.

Toward the Unexplored is a 24-minute 1967 U.S. Air Force film about the history of the site, going back to 1856 when the railroad came through. The Army Air Corps came here in the 1930s to use the dry lake bed as a bombing range, and during World War II used a wooden Japanese battleship replica called the Muroc Maru for target practice.

The film shows some experimental aircraft flying during the 1960s, but the emphasis is on Edwards operations.

Not commonly known is that Edwards also had a rocket propulsion laboratory where rocket engines were tested. The film also touches on NASA aeronautics research operations at the site, such as the X-15. You'll also see the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle used by NASA to simulate flying the Apollo moon landers.

The documentary takes us full circle, ending with a look back at Chuck Yeager, who by this time had the rank of colonel and had become the first commandant of the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School.

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